Dangerous on the dancefloor...

David Tooley in a Redhotred salsa lesson
David Tooley in a Redhotred salsa lesson

I’ve got two left feet and am unable to control women.

Before the feminists among you leap up and throw bricks at me, let me tell you I am taking salsa dancing lessons.

David Tooley in a Redhotred salsa lesson

David Tooley in a Redhotred salsa lesson

As us dancing newbies were told at our first class, at Redhotred, in Woughton Leisure Centre, the man always leads in salsa.

Women – namely dance instructor Fiona and leader Rosa – told us that, so I believe them.

But actually doing that is proving to be a problem for someone lacking style in the co-ordination stakes.

I feel like a carthorse clip clopping among thoroughbreds.

Salsa is done to a 1,2,3...5,6,7 beat. I don’t know what happened to the ‘4’. Every number is a step and there are sets of steps glued together to form something of beauty.

But it’s not beautiful yet.

After two of six introductory lessons, however, I felt well on the way to learning the basics.

My feet were, with a few rebellious moments, basically under control.

Although, if distracted by swapping partners, or the addition of music, it is disconcerting to momentarily lose the ability to put one foot in front of another.

Other lessons are on the way to teach the men how to lead. The experts do it with a gentle movement, inspiring the womenfolk to one direction or another on the dancefloor.

My clumsy efforts at leading the way are fortunate not to have dislocated fingers or shoulders.

Luckily, all us beginners are pretty tough. And I haven’t trodden on anyone’s toes. Yet.

So why did I decide to put myself through this?

It is completely outside of my comfort zone. And that is precisely the point.

If I stay in my comfort zone, I won’t do anything new to challenge myself.

It is not rowing the Atlantic or running a marathon but it is about doing something different, about exercising the brain, learning a new skill and meeting new people.

And other men are learning it, too, so any chaps wavering about it should just take the plunge. At just £8 a lesson, the classes I’m taking are cheaper than a night down the pub!

Blocks of six classes start regularly, so anyone interested should check out their nearest.

The classes I am taking in Rainbow Drive, Milton Keynes, are run by Redhotred who fill the leisure centre’s main hall with around 100 people every week. About 20 people are in my class.

Visit www.redhotredsalsa.co.uk or search for Redhotred salsa on Facebook.